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About Century Past Free Online Library – Our Collections

Century Past Free Online Library is an internet library. Our collections have links to many thousands of free online books, magazines, articles, maps, podcasts and images, organized so you can browse by topic. 

Our online books are hosted by reputable websites such as the Internet Archive, HathiTrust and Google Books. Some of these books are in the public domain and you can download them. 

Books not in the public domain can be borrowed from the Internet Archive, via this site.

Century Past Collections

Fiction Books

We have at least one hundred thousand work of popular fiction, organized by genre; i.e. romances, fantasy, thrillers, historical fiction, etc.  We also have classic literature, world literature (including books in other languages), young people’s fiction, short stories, audio books, and more.  There are three webpages organized by author, with many favorite authors in a range of genres.  And there are works of literary criticism and reading guides

The first entries at most of our subject pages are ‘collections‘ that often contain hundreds of books on a subject at the Internet Archive.  However, if you’re using a phone rather than a PC you may only be able to see about the first 30 books in any collection. After the ‘collections’ are more entries for selected individual books, usually with descriptions.

Most books are from the late 20th century up to about 2015.  Books still in copyright can be read online or borrowed from the Internet Archive. To start, hover your mouse over ‘Fiction‘ in the top menu to find a subject. Or go to A-Z Index / Fiction Categories in the top menu for a Fiction directory.


Non-Fiction Books

Although this free online library doesn’t contain the full range of subjects you would find in a big public library, we have deep collections for a variety of subjects.  Most of our non-fiction books are still in copyright, as they were published in the late 20th century up to around five years ago.  You can borrow them free when you set up a free log-on at the Internet Archive.  

The first entries at most of our subject pages are ‘collections‘ that often contain hundreds of books on a subject at the Internet Archive.  If you’re using a phone rather than a PC, you may only be able to see about the first 30 books in any collection. After the ‘collections‘ entries are more entries for selected individual books, usually with descriptions.

There are 3 ways to access the Non-Fiction book library. 1. Hover over ‘Non-Fiction‘ in the top menu to open a large menu of subjects; 2. Click the ‘Table of Contents’ at ‘Non-Fiction’ in the top menu to browse through subjects at the Library’s Subject Directory page; 3. Use the A-Z Subject Index, at the right end of the top menu.


Magazines

We have around 500 magazine titles on eight webpages, with many thousands of back-issues.  Some titles have current issues.  Most of our magazines are from recent years, but some are from as early as the mid-1800s.  See “Magazines” in the top menu, where you’ll find links to the subject groups.


Newspapers

We have five pages of website collections of links to newspaper archives, current newspapers, and other current online news sources, with links from regions around the world. See the “Newspapers” sub-menu in the top menu.


Articles & Collections

Articles‘, found in the top menu, currently has about 50 subject pages containing around 2,000 links to articles from newspapers and popular magazines. Also here are podcasts and videos. Over half of these pages are history-related. The ‘Collections’ at the top menu holds links to large online collections of photos, maps, and other kinds of images.


The Great Lakes States Past & Present

The Great Lakes States collection is concerned with five states around the U.S. Great Lakes. This collection has 90+ webpages with books & articles on many topics for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and for the entire Great Lakes region.  Most books and articles are non-fiction, but we also have a webpage of novels for each Great Lakes State, and pages for maps, periodicals, and documents.

About the Site Owner

My name is Ted Lienhart, and I’m a retired foreign service officer. I’ve lived in many places, but my roots are in Michigan and Wisconsin.  I have a long-standing interest in history, books and libraries, and I maintain this free online library for readers everywhere.

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